Veronica Kao ’23

Superbands, Bala Cynwyd, PA

This summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a mental health and design intern for Superbands, a nonprofit organization that serves to combine music and mental health awareness. In a non-Covid year, Superbands would focus on in-person experiences like bringing fans closer to their favorite musicians or fostering a mentoring program, but remote work has forced a transition into online mental health outreach and awareness to provide information and resources.

Me and my cat after a long day of work.

I focused mainly on educational content for the Superbands Instagram page, as the organization wanted to move more towards infographics and mental health content. Making this content helped me grow as an artist and a designer, as I’d never designed work for an external organization before. It was challenging at first to coordinate branding elements such as color and font and general social media organization with the social media branch of the organization, but I was eventually able to incorporate the confines of the branding with my own creative ideas to create a series of infographics on different aspects of mental health and mental illnesses that is scheduled to be posted throughout the coming year.

In addition to the graphic design aspect, I also learned a lot about mental health from doing research for these infographics. One thing I didn’t expect was the amount of misinformation that’s out on the Internet on different mental disorders. I had expected the research for these infographics to be the easy part, but there were a lot of misleading sources I had to sort through to curate the best informational profiles on these mental disorders in the most respectful and accurate way. While progress has been made in how society views mental illness, there are still certain disorders that remain highly stigmatized or misunderstood. This required me to utilize extra research along with the knowledge I gained from my clinical psychology class, Psychological Disorders, to know how to best present the information for these graphics.

The aspect of this internship that will have the most lasting impact is the team dynamic. Working within a team of people 
with diverse perspectives was enlightening and difficult. Communication between team members was often difficult or slow, as most team members have full-time jobs outside of Superbands and some even live in different time zones. However, working with an entire team is crucial for an organization like Superbands, because an organization focused on community health and outreach needs a plethora of ideas to fully understand how to help a community. There were times when my team members would point out certain design flaws or inaccuracies in my infographics, which I so appreciated.

I would like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and the Estate of Bruce C. Davey for this opportunity. I am certain that I will further pursue some sort of career in the psychological sciences.